Habits – Are They Holding Back Your Procurement Team?

Habits are part of life. How much could they be holding back the success of your procurement team?

I play a fair amount of competitive golf and an old habit cost one of my competitors a win in an annual tournament.

In this fellow’s regular weekend game, they allow “a gimme” meaning a putt is conceded because the chances of missing it are so small.

On Sunday he was playing extremely well until late in the round. He missed a short putt and went to pick up the ball. His was so accustomed to having short putts conceded that he picked it up. Then he realized that in a tournament every ball must be putted in the hole.

Unfortunately, his habit cost him 2 shots. He tied for the win and then lost in a playoff.

It is hard to break a habit.

We all have routines or habits that allow us to navigate RFPs.

Once we have a method that works, our resistance to change increases.

Even when we know that there must be a better way, we resist until the pain outweighs our will to resist change.

There is one overriding theme that procurement professionals tell me when they want my help.

They are overwhelmed by the amount of work they are expected to accomplish with their current process and they want relief.

That is the underlying reason people change old habits, the pain is too great.

Most people that want to change are still using manual, complex or outdated systems.

It may surprise you to learn that many companies with sales of more than $1 Billion dollars are still using spreadsheets, email and PDFs for procurement.

If you are in that situation you probably know how much time this is costing you every week.

Consider these features that are commonly available in cloud-based platforms and imagine how much more efficient and effective you could be with them.

  • All purchases go through the same process with the appropriate checks and balances
  • Every RFP creates a template for the next RFP or a similar one
  • Prior RFP events can be copied in total or in part with just a few clicks
  • Once suppliers are qualified their data is automatically included in any event they are invited to participate in. This makes life easier for your suppliers and they like this.
  • Standard reports are automatically generated and can be easily customized for individual users and stakeholders
  • All analysis is automatically generated, and additional versions can be easily created
  • Reports can be sent to designated recipients automatically
  • Automated status reports will eliminate status requests and many other questions before they are asked
  • All communication is contained within the platform eliminating the time-consuming process of searching through emails for answers
  • A flexible system should work equally well with simple quote requests to RFPs with hundreds or even thousands of line items
  • Data from every past event is searchable so you can answer those inevitable questions from management effortlessly
  • The knowledge generated by the event stays with the company even when the originator leaves

I realize that every company I speak with is successful and has a system in place that is functioning.

I would suggest that you ask your team this question:

“How much more efficient and effective could we be if we embraced change?”

If your current system is like an old habit perhaps it’s time to consider a change.

Ask better questions, make changes and 2018 will be your best year ever.

Action Step: If you are uncertain where to start the process of change, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want.

If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me. I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that what I have to offer will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

You Won’t Drift to Success©

Commit to taking the next step.

Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries